A "silent" fireball that lit up the night sky over Japan for a few seconds was captured burning up in atmosphere with a strange greenish glow on November 21. According to reports, the strange fireball was a tiny chunk of space rock that burned and illuminated the sky with green light.
"It's a fireball ... a big meteor. Fragments of sand and stone moving through space lit up due to friction upon entering Earth's atmosphere," Chisato Yamauchi, a researcher at Misato astronomical observatory in Wakayama Prefecture, told The Asahi Shimbun.
Witnesses said that the meteor was spotted in Yoshitaka and Syouko in southern Japan at 9.30 pm local time on Tuesday. "Such brightness could be observed only a handful of times in any given year. It lit up for about three seconds. It is almost certainly a fireball," Yasuo Shiba an executive of Nippon Meteor Society said.
Shiba also said that the meteor can be a part of the Taurids meteor shower, which is associated with Comet Encke. The annual celestial event that takes place in October and November.
During the meteor shower, the shooting stars that are formed by grains of dust and ice shed by the comet can be seen across the sky.
However, this is not the first time, when such an incident has took place. In October, several residents in China's Yunnan Province spotted three giant fireballs or meteor while celebrating the mid-autumn festival. One of the meteors reportedly shone brighter than the moon before it disappeared from the sky.
NASA said that the meteor travelled with a velocity of 14.6 kilometres per second and have generated 0.54 kilotons of energy, which is equivalent to 540 tonnes of TNT explosives.